Big people hit little people: Sex differences in physical power and interpersonal violence

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Abstract

The role of physical size and strength in sex differences in violence is examined using a sample of ex-offenders, ex-mental patients, and the general population. In incidents not involving weapons, males are more likely than females to engage in attacks and injure their adversaries, and females are more likely to be attacked and injured, primarily because of differences in physical power. In incidents involving weapons, the greater power of males is partially neutralized, and females are more likely than males to injure their adversary. The results show that physical differences between men and women are an important factor in explaining sex differences in violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-452
Number of pages20
JournalCriminology
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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